Vinyls have been around for well over fifty years now, but their popularity is well and truly on the up.
The anticipation builds as you wait for the music to start. The silence has finally been broken. The procedure was a delicate one. You carefully removed the vinyl from its case, watched it shimmer in the daylight, before gently placing it onto the record player and positioning the needle onto its edge. Finally, the crisp sound graces your ears. Some may think it’s the height of the 1950s but it’s in fact 2017.
For the first time in over twenty five years the sales of vinyl records have exceeded the three million mark. These numbers have been somewhat expected in recent years with the old fashioned music platform coming out of retirement.
Simon Harding works at ‘The Vault’ which opened up their first store selling vinyls in Christchurch just less than three years ago. But due to the increase in sales a second store was opened in Bournemouth.
“Sales have been on the up for a number of years now but more noticeably in the last year and a half,” explained Simon.
Whilst there could be many explanations as to why vinyl sales have increased, Simon suggested that record players are more widely available and affordable now than they have been before.
Matt Freeman, 26, a graphic designer in Aldershot prefers vinyls to other music platforms. Matt received a record player for his 22nd birthday and has been an avid vinyl collector ever since.
I used to listen to vinyls at my Grandad’s house when I was young. I loved it,”
“I’m a massive fan of sixties bands like The Beatles and wanted to listen to them the way they were originally heard.
Matt explained that there’s no better feeling than going into a vinyl shop and adding to his collection. Currently, Matt owns just over fifty vinyls and even keeps some of them in cases on the wall.
“Playing a new vinyl for the first time is so exciting. My favourite part is when you can flip the vinyl over and experience even more songs,” Matt explained.
“There’s nothing better than the sound of a vinyl. A song playing from your phone wouldn’t even compare,” said Matt.
However, despite vinyls rise in popularity with many millennials, there are still those who favour modern technology.
Stefan Mekki, a resident of London and lover of music prefers to listen to music on his phone. “I don’t have time and money to spending on record players and vinyls,” he explained.
“I’m always on the move and so it’s much easier for me to listen to music on the go. I would feel restricted with what I could listen to on vinyl, whereas my phone gives me endless choices,” Stefan said.
Similarly to Matt, Simon loves buying new vinyls. “I started buying vinyls in 1971 and I have never stopped.
“It is now easier to get hold of older albums on vinyl a
s the music producers have started to release regenerations of albums released thirty years ago,” said Simon.
Almost all current artists when releasing a new album will release it on C
D, digital download and also vinyl. This has become the norm since vinyl’s comeback.
“Kids used to laugh at vinyls but since vinyl has become popular again they have started to show an interest,” Simon said.
The future for vinyls
Stefan believes that vinyl’s popularity will not last for long. “I think people are more into vinyls these days so they can be retro. You see girls wearing mum jeans and reebok classics, all things that were popular in the 80s,” Stefan explained.
“I think vinyls will only be popular until CD players and Walkman’s go through the same cycle. Give it thirty years and people will be using iPods,” Stefan continued.
“I’ll be using vinyls for a long time whether they go out of fashion with millennials or not,” said Matt.
Whether vinyls have made a permanent comeback remains to be seen but they have certainly left their mark on many.